Weekly Analysis 20th May

  • 22 May 2016 12:44
The G4S Risk Analysis team produces weekly risk analysis pieces on current events pertinent to security and business operations. Please see below for excerpts of our weekly analysis for the week ending 20 May.
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Brazil: Rousseff suspension exacerbates regional divisions

On 12 May, after a 20-hour debate session, the Senate voted by 55 to 22 to go ahead with an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff. As a result, Rousseff has been officially suspended from her post for a maximum of 180 days as a trial determines whether she is permanently removed from office or if she can return to her position. The controversial decision has escalated Brazil’s institutional crisis and triggered nationwide protests to support and oppose the president. Following the Senate’s announcement, leaders in the region have expressed their condemnation or approval of the impeachment process, as Rousseff’s fate is closely watched by Brazil’s neighbours. To read more, sign up here

Sri Lanka:  Severe weather to persist following fatal landslides

Flash floods and landslides have killed more than 34 people and displaced hundreds of thousands across Sri Lanka. On 17 May, in the remote Aranayake area on the slopes of the Central Hills in the Kegalle district, landslides struck three villages. Sixteen people are confirmed to have been killed and more than 200 families are missing, presumed dead, after numerous houses in the villages of Siripura, Pallebage and Elagipitya were buried. The government has declared a state of emergency and additional emergency personnel have been deployed to aid with the relief effort, however, given the area’s isolated geography and inadequate infrastructure, not least the responders’ lack of heavy earth-moving equipment, there is a dwindling likelihood of further survivors.  To read more, sign up here

UK/Northern Ireland:  Discovery of significant weapons cache illustrates escalating dissident threat

On 14 May, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) discovered a significant arms cache hidden in Capanagh forest park near Larne. The munitions, hidden underground in a barrel, included viable pipe bombs, two Claymore anti-personnel mines, other explosives and ammunition. PSNI officials have described the discovery as the “most significant in recent years”. While media reports suggest the cache was discovered by a member of the public, the most likely outcome is that the cache, which was buried under the forest floor, was found following an intelligence operation. To read more, sign up here

Iraq: Intensity of attacks against Shi’a Muslims increases in Baghdad

On 11 May, Islamic State (IS) militants detonated four explosive devices around Baghdad, killing more than 100 people. The attacks targeted Baghdad’s Shi’a population and militia, who continue to be among the prime targets of IS militants. The deadliest blast occurred in a market in Sadr city, Baghdad’s major Shi’a district, killing 64 people. A second explosion hit a square in the Shi’a dominated suburb of Kadhimiya killing 17 people. Additionally, two suicide bombers struck Shi’a militia-manned checkpoints in the Sunni-majority areas of Jamia and Hurriyah, killing more than 14 people. The attacks resulted in the largest death toll in one day since the beginning of the year. To read more, sign up here

Somalia: Islamic State’s arrival likely to see surge in attacks

On 8 April, Jabha East Africa swore an oath of allegiance to Islamic State (IS) caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, marking the official establishment of a new IS affiliate in the Horn of Africa. A few short weeks later, IS claimed its first attack in Somalia; an IED attack on a military convoy on the outskirts of Mogadishu on 24 April. This in itself is not a major feat in Somalia, but the claim of responsibility by IS has announced its arrival in the country, raising concerns over a possible surge in attacks and intra-militant fighting as al-Shabaab seeks to maintain its position as the dominant Somali insurgent group. To read more, sign up here

Cambodia: Monsoon hoped to end record drought

Over the past week, monsoon rains have begun to offer Cambodia some relief from its worst drought in 50 years. A record-breaking heat-wave has devastated supplies of drinking water, affecting rural areas that depend on wells for supplies. Storms began on 16 May and are forecast to continue for a week. However, the intensity of the drought is such that several consecutive months of rainfall will be needed to restore normal drinking water levels. At the height of the drought, an estimated two thirds of the population has had insufficient drinking water. The current phase of extreme weather comes as a result of the El Nino weather phenomenon and coincides with April being recorded by NASA as the earth’s seventh consecutive warmest month in a row. To read more, sign up here